Holding back the Concrete Mixers
A bloggee who has been at the cutting edge of development in the countryside has sent Huttonian this extract from the Taylor Review whose sentiments I am confident he shares:The planning process has to become an engine of regeneration or we face a future of rural decline. Over-zealous or ill-thought through restriction of development has held back rural economies and made rural homes increasingly unaffordable. The right balance of housing and employment opportunities are crucial. We need a can-do system that asks the question of each development proposal “how will this development add to or diminish the sustainability of this community” and includes social, economic and environmental factors in the answer.
‘Living working countryside
’ The Taylor Review of Rural Economy and Affordable Housing
I am not sure how the building on green field sites of, say,McMansions-to pluck an example out of the ether, reverses rural decline; If they were destined for thrusting entrepreneurs investing all in the local community, creating employment and patronising local institutions then well and good. But I fear its more likely to be snapped up by either wealthy retirees or well heeled business blokes working in Embra or Newcastle who will neither 'patronise' the local pub nor get themselves involved in the community, Whist in Hutton Village Hall, I don't think so. And all this desirable, basically suburban, property at (well used to be)sky high prices makes housing for local people, in the words of Taylor ' increasingly unaffordable'
But it is all rather academic. With property prices falling and mortgages increasingly unobtainable the day of big developments-or even the odd couple of bijou villas has gone for the moment. So its back to extensions, double garages-house improvemnents rather than moves. And in some cases the term 'improvement' is bit of a misnomer. The '39 Steps'
in one property in down town Hutton. Would look good in the Costa Del Developpa' But in the Merse?
(These Mc Mansions, seen above, are not on the Tweed but they could be. Thank God for the timely recession)
Labels: building in the countryside, Inappropriate Development